Euro 2020: football ‘VIPs’ arriving in UK could be exempt from self-isolation rules under ‘bubble’ compromise

Reports have suggested that the finals could be moved out of Wembley and into Budapest if a deal could not be reached

Visiting football VIPs could be exempted from self-isolation rules on arrival in the UK under plans to allow them to attend the final matches of Euro 2020, according to a report.

The Times said the Government was approaching a compromise deal that would require Uefa and Fifa officials, politicians, sponsors and broadcasters to agree to only attend football matches – effectively placing them in “bubbles”.

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England's midfielder Jude Bellingham (R) and Czech Republic's defender Ondrej Celustka vie for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between Czech Republic and England  (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
England's midfielder Jude Bellingham (R) and Czech Republic's defender Ondrej Celustka vie for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between Czech Republic and England (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance: 5 key points

- The Times states that many VIPs are expected to fly in and out of the country on the same day, or stay overnight in hotels block-booked for the tournament.

- Uefa is thought to be pushing for 2,500 VIPs to attend the competition’s final on 11 July without being subjected to quarantine requirements that apply to other international travellers.

- A UK source said that talks between the Government and Uefa about travel restrictions have been “positive”, although ministers have indicated that some restrictions would remain in place.

- Previous reports suggested that the final could be moved to Budapest if a deal could not be reached.

- The Government announced on Tuesday that more than 60,000 football fans would be allowed to attend the semi-finals and finals at Wembley if they had a negative Covid-19 test, or could prove that they are double vaccinated.

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What’s been said

In a statement, Uefa said: “Uefa, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage that semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games.”

Previously, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters: “We’ll be talking to Uefa about what they want and see if we can make some sensible accommodations, but the priority obviously has to be public health.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Downden said: “As we continue to make progress on our road map out of lockdown, keeping the public safe remains our top priority.

“We have worked extremely closely with Uefa and the FA to ensure rigorous and tight public health measures are in place whilst allowing more fans to see the action live.

“The finals promise to be an unforgettable moment in our national recovery from the pandemic.”

Background

The Euros is a football tournament held every four years, since 1960, except in 2020 when it was postponed until this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The semi-finals and finals of the Euros at Wembley Stadium is set to be hosted with at least 40,000 fans under the third phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), which will see the largest crowds assembled for a sporting event in the UK in more than 15 months.

Pilot events are events run by the ERP, and these events will inform government policy on how to bring about the safe return of audiences to venues and events.

Pilot events under the ERP include the Royal Ascot horse racing meeting being permitted to host crowds of up to 12,000 spectators per day, while the first week capacity of the Wimbledon tennis championships will be capped at half of normal levels – 21,000 people.

Other test events have included the FA Cup final at Wembley, the Brit Awards and the World Snooker Championship.

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